The deputy mayor of Wairoa says she doesn't support the idea of having special Maori wards in the district for local government elections.
Councillors voted on Tuesday to hold a public poll on the issue during the 2013 elections.
But Denise Eaglesome says all candidates should be elected on merit.
She says of the three top polling councillors in the last election, two - including herself - are Maori.
Ms Eaglesome says there is a case for dedicated Maori seats in a city where they are in a minority, but not in the Wairoa district.
Earlier this year 62% of those who voted in an informal council survey were against introducing Maori wards.